Why might President Donald Trump have reservations concerning the ☠ US Intelligence Community? ☠
Why might President Donald Trump have reservations concerning the ☠ US Intelligence Community? ☠
❕ Let me count the ways ❕
Anyone who thinks that our intelligence community is impeccable, and not made-up of people from the deep state, is not keeping up with the real news.
Our intel community has been conducting political sabotage against Donald Trump since he was a serious contender for president.
So what facts might play into President Trump’s thought processes when it comes to the so-called intelligence community? Oh, maybe a phony dossier solicited and paid for by the DNC i.e. Crooked Hillary Clinton,
accusing him of all sorts of filth that he didn’t do. Text messages between government employees working in the intel community, were not only negative toward Trump, they seem to take a very sinister tone, such as “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office (Andy McCabe – Deputy Director of the FBI) that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…” Peter Strzok’s message, from August of 2016. Some might decipher that as a veiled death threat.
On top of that, the so-called intelligence community was run by Barack Hussein Obama’s bungling idiots. John Brennon, who is running scared thinking he is headed to prison, James Clapper, who might also be suspect, and James Comey, what a joke, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who probably is on his way to a federal penitentiary, Valerie Jarrett who lies about everything, Robert Mueller who was the FBI director before lying Comey, and he was a US Deputy Attorney General, and the
Tarmac Queen, AG Loretta Lynch. Nah, President Trump should have 100% confidence in these people.
One should never disgrace a world leader of the stature (good or bad) of Vladimir Putin. Russia and the US have 90% of all the nuclear weapons in the world. I would have done the same thing.
And praytell, has anyone ever seen a shred of evidence? The Senate Intelligence Committee said, they have reviewed the 2017 [Intelligence Community] assessment and found no reason to doubt its conclusion. Assessment? Conclusion? Where is the evidence⁉
So the community that should be being investigated, says there is no reason to doubt them? Yeah, right, What Balderdash.
Quote from President Donald Trump: I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics #HELSINKI2018
45th President of The United States Donald Trump wins HoaxAndChange.com
Peter Paul Strzok II (/strʌk/, pronounced “struck”) (born 7 March 1970) is a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. Strzok was the Chief of the Counterespionage Section and led the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.
Strzok rose to become the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position in that division. He also led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
In June and July 2017, Strzok worked on Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation into any links or coordination between Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign and the Russian government.Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation when Mueller became aware of criticisms of Trump contained in personal text messages exchanged between Strzok and a colleague.
The revelation of the text messages led to accusations by Republican congressmen and conservative media that Strzok was involved in a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency; conservatives used the text messages as part of a campaign to discredit Mueller’s investigation. The Department of Justice, led by Republican Jeff Sessions, has defended Mueller’s response to the text messages.
A February 2018 comprehensive review by The Wall Street Journal of Strzok’s messages showed that “texts critical of Mr. Trump represent a fraction of the roughly 7,000 messages, which stretch across 384 pages and show no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump”. After the release of the DOJ-OIG report, which revealed further anti-Trump texts from Strzok, he agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Early life and education
Peter P. Strzok II was born at the Kincheloe AFB Hospital near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to Peter Paul Strzok and Virginia Sue Harris. His father, Peter P. Strzok, was a longtime member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One of Strzok’s uncles is Father James Strzok, SJ, a Jesuit priest doing missionary work in east Africa. Strzok family hails from Poland. For high school, Strzok attended St. John’s Preparatory School in Minnesota, graduating in 1987. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1991 as well as a master’s degree in 2013. After graduating from Georgetown in 1991, Strzok served as an officer in the United States Army before leaving to join the FBI in 1996 as an intelligence research specialist. Strzok is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
As of 2018, Strzok has been a career employee with the FBI for 22 years.
He was the lead agent in FBI’s “Operation Ghost Stories” against Andrey Bezrukov and Yelena Vavilova, a Russian spy couple who were part of the Illegals Program, a network of Russian sleeper agents who were arrested in 2010. By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section, a subordinate section of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. He led a team of a dozen investigators during the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server and assisted in the drafting of public statements for then-FBI Director James Comey. He changed the description of Clinton’s actions from “grossly negligent”, which could be a criminal offense, to “extremely careless”. The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process. In his statement to Congress, Comey said that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges based on available evidence. Later, when additional emails were discovered a few days before the election, Strzok supported reopening the Clinton investigation. He then co-wrote the letter that Comey used to inform Congress, which “reignited the email controversy in the final days” and “played a key role in a controversial FBI decision that upended Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
Due to his acknowledged expertise and reliability, Strzok rose to the position of Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, and as the number two official within that division oversaw investigations involving Russia and China. In that capacity, he led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, and examined both the Donald Trump–Russia dossier and the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak. He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; Flynn later pled guilty to lying during those interviews.
In July 2017, Strzok became the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller‘s 2017 Special Counsel investigation looking into any links or coordination between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government. He served in that position until August 2017, at which time he began working in the Human Resources Branch. According to The New York Times, Strzok was “considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators,”as well as “one of the Bureau’s top experts on Russia” according to CNN. Strzok left the investigation in late July 2017 after the discovery of personal text messages sent to a colleague. At the request of Republicans in Congress, the Justice Department (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) began an inquiry in January 2017 into how the FBI handled investigations related to the election, and the IG announced it would issue a report by March or April 2018. The report was eventually released on June 14, 2018, after several delays.
On June 15, 2018, the day after this IG report was published, Strzok was escorted from FBI headquarters as part of the bureau’s internal conduct investigations. The move put Strzok on notice that the bureau intends to fire him, though he has appeal rights that could delay such action. On June 21, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Strzok had lost his security clearance.
During the IG’s investigation, thousands of text messages exchanged using FBI-issued cell phones between Strzok and Lisa Page, a trial attorney on Mueller’s team, were examined. The texts were sent between August 15, 2015 and December 1, 2016. At the request of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ turned over 375 of these text messages to the House Judiciary Committee. Some of the texts disparaged then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, Chelsea Clinton, Attorney General in the Obama administration Eric Holder, former Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley, and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Bernie Sanders. Strzok called Trump an “idiot” in August 2015 and texted “God Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0” after a Republican debate in March 2016. In their messages, Strzok and Page also advocated for creating a Special Counsel to investigate the Hillary Clinton email controversy, and discussed suggesting former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald be considered for such a probe. Devlin Barrett from The Washington Post alleged Strzok and Page had been using the backdrop of discussing the Clinton investigation as a cover for their personal communications during an affair. Upon learning of the text messages, Mueller removed Strzok from the investigation. Messages released in January 2018 showed that Strzok was hesitant to join the Mueller investigation, with Page encouraging him not to.
Strzok’s colleagues and a former Trump administration official said that Strzok had never shown any political bias. An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton emails. According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was not uncommon for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation. Several agents asserted that Mueller had removed Strzok to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Strzok was not punished following his reassignment. Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said no professional misconduct between them occurred.
The decision by the DOJ to publicize the private messages in December 2017 was controversial. Statements by DOJ spokeswomen revealed that some reporters had copies of the texts even before the DOJ invited the press to review them, but the DOJ did not authorize the pre-release. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have asked for a review of the circumstances under which the texts were leaked to select press outlets.
The Office of Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation published on June 14, 2018, criticized Strzok’s text messages for creating the appearance of impropriety. However, the report concluded that there was no evidence of bias in the FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton. The report revealed additional texts hostile to Donald Trump by Strzok. In early August 2016, after Page asked Strzok, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” Many Democrats noted that the FBI’s actions during 2016 presidential campaign, such as reopening the Clinton email investigation on the eve of the election and elements within the FBI telling the New York Times that there was no clear link between the Trump campaign and Russia, ended up harming the Clinton campaign and benefitting the Trump campaign.
At a July 12, 2018, public congressional hearing, Strzok denied that the personal beliefs expressed in the text messages impacted his work for the FBI. Strzok explained that a “We’ll stop Trump” text message was written late at night and off-the-cuff shortly after Trump denigrated the immigrant family of a fallen American war hero, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, and that the message reflected Strzok’s belief that Americans would not vote for a candidate who engaged in such “horrible, disgusting behavior”. Strzok said the message “was in no way – unequivocally – any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate.” Strzok added that he knew of information during the 2016 presidential campaign that could have damaged Trump but that he never contemplated leaking it. Strzok also said that he criticized politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in his “blunt” text messages. Strzok’s said that the investigation into him and the Republicans’ related rhetoric was misguided and played into “our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”
Strzok’s personal messages to Lisa Page have been used by Republicans to attack the impartiality of Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the election. Conservative media outlets and Republicans have used the text messages as part of an aggressive campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation and protect President Trump. Other Republicans have defended Mueller and his work, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteinwho said that he would only fire Mueller if there was actual cause under DOJ regulations, and that no such cause existed. Rosenstein also praised Mueller for removing Strzok from the Russian investigation.
In an August 15, 2016 text message, Strzok told Page: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s (Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI) office that there’s no way Trump gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40 … ” This message attracted scrutiny from Republicans, including Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, who stated: “Some of these texts appear to go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency.” Sources close to Strzok and Page told The Wall Street Journal that Strzok was not contemplating using the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to harm Trump’s candidacy, but rather emphasizing the need to aggressively pursue any such leads before the election “because some of Mr. Trump’s associates could land administration jobs and it was important to know if they had colluded with Russia.”
On January 20, 2018, Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI) released a letter in which he stated that the FBI’s technical system had failed to preserve five months’ worth of texts between Strzok and Page. According to the letter, the texts in question were sent between mid-December 2016 and mid-May 2017. A Justice Department official later said that the technical lapse had affected thousands of FBI-issued phones, which failed to store text messages for periods of up to a year.
In late January 2018, a number of congressional Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson, asserted that they had evidence that pointed towards FBI agents working clandestinely to undermine the Trump presidency; they asserted that Strzok and Page were in a “secret society” against Trump. Congressional Republicans refused to release the evidence behind the assertion, but ABC News obtained a copy of the message that Republicans were referring to and noted that the message that refers to a “secret society” may have been made in jest. The day after his assertion that these messages demonstrated “corruption at the highest levels of the FBI” and after a copy of the messages were revealed by ABC News, Johnson walked back his comments and said that there was a “real possibility” that the messages were made in jest.
In February 2018, Johnson speculated that a text message between FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page raised questions about “the type and extent of President Obama’s personal involvement” in the Clinton emails investigation. Fox News reiterated, without scrutiny, Ron Johnson’s speculative claim that text messages between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggested that President Barack Obama was deeply involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan did not answer an inquiry from CNN about whether Fox News reached out to Obama for comment. Johnson’s claim was covered by various pro-Trump websites, such as Drudge Report, Breitbart, InfoWars and The Gateway Pundit, before President Trump himself tweeted “NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!” Other news outlets reported that the text messages were sent in September 2016, months after the Clinton emails investigation had concluded, and three days before Obama would confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about interference in the 2016 election at the G20 Hangzhou summit. Associates of Strzok and Page told The Wall Street Journal the texts were about the FBI’s investigation into Russian electoral interference. Fox News continued to report the story even after these news outlets had provided this context for the messages.
Fox News commentary
While referring to Strzok’s messages, some commentators on the Fox News Channel intensified their anti-Mueller rhetoric. Jesse Watters said that Mueller’s investigation now amounted to a coup against President Trump, if “the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes”. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said that the FBI and DOJ were working clandestinely to destroy the Trump presidency, and called for a “war” against the “deep state”. One guest on Fox’s talk and news show Outnumbered, Kevin Jackson, speculated that Strzok’s messages were evidence of a plot by FBI agents to make “an assassination attempt or whatever” against President Trump, which other Fox hosts quickly contradicted and said was not “credible”. Fox News figures referred to the investigation as “corrupt”, “crooked” and “illegitimate”, and likened the FBI to the KGB, the brutal Soviet-era spy organization. Political scientists and experts on coups rejected that Mueller’s investigation amounted to a coup.
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John O. Brennan
|John O. Brennan|
|5th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency|
March 8, 2013 – January 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Michael Morell (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Mike Pompeo|
|5th United States Homeland Security Advisor|
January 20, 2009 – March 8, 2013
|Preceded by||Ken Wainstein|
|Succeeded by||Lisa Monaco|
|Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
August 27, 2004 – August 1, 2005
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||John Redd|
|Born||John Owen Brennan
September 22, 1955
North Bergen, New Jersey, U.S.
|Education||Fordham University (BA)
University of Texas, Austin (MA)
John Owen Brennan (born September 22, 1955) was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from March 2013 to January 2017. He served as chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; his title was Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President. His responsibilities included overseeing plans to protect the country from terrorism and respond to natural disasters, and he met with the President daily. Previously, he advised President Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign and transition. Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the first Obama administration over concerns about his support for transferring terror suspects to countries where they may be tortured while serving under President George W. Bush. Instead, Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.
Brennan’s 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. After leaving government service in 2005, Brennan became CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of intelligence professionals.
Brennan served in the White House as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security between 2009 and 2013. President Obama nominated Brennan as his next director of the CIA on January 7, 2013. The ACLU called for the Senate not to proceed with the appointment until it confirms that “all of his conduct was within the law” at the CIA and White House. John Brennan was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 5, 2013, to succeed David Petraeus as the Director of the CIA by a vote of 12 to 3.
Early life and education
Brennan is the son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, Republic of Ireland. His father, a blacksmith named Owen, immigrated to New Jersey in 1948. He was born in North Bergen, New Jersey. He attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School, and graduated from Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey before enrolling at Fordham University in New York City.
While riding a bus to class at Fordham, he saw an ad in The New York Times that said the CIA was recruiting, and he felt a CIA career would be a good match for his “wanderlust” and his desire to do public service. His studies included a junior year abroad learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses at the American University in Cairo.
In 1976, he voted for Communist Party USA candidate Gus Hall in the presidential election; he later said that he viewed it as a way “of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”
He received a B.A. in political science from Fordham in 1977. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Master of Arts in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies in 1980. He speaks Arabic fluently.
Brennan began his CIA career as an analyst and spent 25 years with the agency. He was a daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton. In 1996, he was CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when the Khobar Towers bombing killed 19 U.S. servicemen. In 1999, he was appointed chief of staff to George Tenet, then-Director of the CIA. Brennan became deputy executive director of the CIA in March 2001. He was director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004, an office that sifted through and compiled information for President Bush’s daily top secret intelligence briefings and employed the services of analysts from a dozen U.S. agencies and entities. One of the controversies in his career involves the distribution of intelligence to the Bush White House that helped lead to an “Orange Terror Alert“, in late 2003. The intelligence, which purported to list terror targets, was highly controversial within the CIA and was later discredited. An Obama administration official does not dispute that Brennan distributed the intelligence during the Bush era but said Brennan passed it along because that was his job. His last post within the Intelligence Community was as director of the National Counterterrorism Center in 2004 and 2005, which incorporated information on terrorist activities across U.S. agencies.
Brennan then left government service for a few years, becoming Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) and the CEO of The Analysis Corporation (TAC). He continued to lead TAC after its acquisition by Global Strategies Group in 2007 and its growth as the Global Intelligence Solutions division of Global’s North American technology business GTEC, before returning to government service with the Obama administration as Homeland Security Advisor on January 20, 2009.
On January 7, 2013, Brennan was nominated by President Barack Obama to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In September 2017, Brennan was named a Distinguished Non-Resident Scholar at The University of Texas at Austin, where he also acts as a Senior Advisor to the University’s Intelligence Studies Project. He serves as a consultant on world events for Kissinger Associates.
Counterterrorism advisor to President Obama
Brennan was an early national security adviser to then-candidate Obama. In late 2008, Brennan was reportedly the top choice to become the Director of the CIA in the incoming Obama administration. However, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration because of opposition to his CIA service under President George W. Bush and past public statements he had made in support of enhanced interrogation and the transfer of terrorism suspects to countries where they might be tortured (extraordinary rendition). President Obama then appointed him to be his Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the President’s chief counterterrorism advisor and a position that did not require Senate confirmation.
In August 2009, Brennan criticized some Bush-administration anti-terror policies, saying that waterboarding had threatened national security by increasing the recruitment of terrorists and decreasing the willingness of other nations to cooperate with the U.S. He also described the Obama administration’s focus as being on “extremists” and not “jihadists“. He said that using the second term, which means one who is struggling for a holy goal, gives “these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek” and suggests the US is at war with the religion of Islam. Brennan told the New York Times in January 2010 that “I was somebody who did oppose waterboarding,” a claim that he repeated in 2013, during the Senate’s hearings about whether to confirm him as Obama’s CIA director.None of Brennan’s superior officers at the CIA, however, recall hearing his objections, and in 2018, Brennan admitted to the New York Times that “It wasn’t as though I was wearing that opposition on my sleeve throughout the agency. I expressed it privately, to individuals.”
In an early December 2009 interview with the Bergen Record, Brennan remarked, “the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities have to bat 1.000 every day. The terrorists are trying to be successful just once”. At a press conference days after the failed Christmas Day bomb attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Brennan said U.S. intelligence agencies did not miss any signs that could have prevented the attempt but later said he had let the President down by underestimating a small group of Yemeni terrorists and not connecting them to the attempted bomber. Within two weeks after the incident, however, he produced a report highly critical of the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies, concluding that their focus on terrorist attempts aimed at U.S. soil was inadequate. In February 2010, he claimed on Meet the Press that he was tired of Republican lawmakers using national security issues as political footballs, and making allegations where they did not know the facts.
Brennan was present in the Situation Room in May 2011 when the United States conducted the military operation that killed Osama bin Laden. He called President Obama’s decision to go forward with the mission one of the “gutsiest calls of any president in memory.” In the aftermath of the operation, Brennan said that the U.S. troops in the raid had been “met with a great deal of resistance,” and bin Laden had used a woman as a human shield.
In April 2012, Brennan was the first Obama administration official to publicly acknowledge CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In his speech he explained the legality, morality, and effectiveness of the program. The ACLU and other organizations disagreed. In 2011-2012, he also helped reorganize the process, under the aegis of the Disposition Matrix database, by which people outside of war zones were put on the list of drone targets. According to an Associated Press story, the reorganization helped “concentrate power” over the process inside the White House administration.
In June 2011, Brennan claimed that US counter-terrorism operations had not resulted in “a single collateral death” in the past year because of the “precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.” Nine months later, Brennan claimed he had said “we had no information” about any civilian, noncombatant deaths during the timeframe in question. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism disagreed with Brennan, citing their own research that initially led them to believe that 45 to 56 civilians, including six children, had been killed by ten US drone strikes during the year-long period in question. Additional research led the Bureau to raise their estimate to 76 deaths, including eight children and two women. According to the Bureau, Brennan’s claims “do not appear to bear scrutiny.” The Atlantic has been harsher in its criticism, saying that “Brennan has been willing to lie about those drone strikes to hide ugly realities.”
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Brennan’s comments about collateral death are perhaps explained by a counting method that treats all military-aged males in a strike zone as combatants unless there is explicit information to prove them innocent.
CIA Director (2013–2017)
Morris Davis, a former Chief Prosecutor for the Guantanamo Military Commissions compared Brennan to Canadian Omar Khadr, who was convicted of “committing murder in violation of the law of war”. He suggested that Brennan’s role in targeting individuals for CIA missile strikes was no more authorized than the throwing of the grenade of which Khadr was accused.
On February 27, 2013, the Senate Intelligence Committee postponed a vote, expected to be taken the next day on the confirmation of Brennan until the following week. On March 5, the Intelligence Committee approved the nomination 12–3. The Senate was set to vote on Brennan’s nomination on March 6, 2013. However, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began a talking Senate filibuster of the vote, citing President Barack Obama and his administration’s use of combat drones against Americans, stating “No one politician should be allowed to judge the guilt, to charge an individual, to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything that we fundamentally believe in our country.” Paul’s filibuster continued for 13 hours, ending with the words: “I’m hopeful that we have drawn attention to this issue, that this issue will not fade away, and that the president will come up with a response.” After the filibuster, Brennan was confirmed by a vote of 63–34.
Brennan was sworn into the office of CIA Director on March 8, 2013, in a 63-44 vote.
Two months after assuming his post at the CIA, Brennan replaced Gina Haspel as head of the National Clandestine Service and placed another unidentified, career intelligence officer and former Marine in her place. In June 2013, Brennan installed Avril Haines as Deputy Director of the Agency.
In April 2014, Brennan visited Kiev where he met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema and purportedly discussed intelligence-sharing between the United States and Ukraine.
In the summer of 2014, Brennan faced scrutiny after it was revealed that some CIA employees had improperly accessed the computer servers of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the wake of oversight of the CIA’s role in enhanced interrogation and extraordinary rendition. Brennan apologized to Senators and stated that he would “fight for change at the CIA,” and stated he would pass along the findings of the Inspector General on the incident. After the incident, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) stated he had “lost confidence in Brennan.”
In December 2014, Brennan again came under fire when he defended the CIA’s past interrogation tactics as having yielded “useful” intelligence, during a news conference. While admitting that the actions of the CIA officers were “abhorrent”, worthy of “repudiation”, and had, at times, exceeded legal boundaries Brennan stated the CIA had also done “a lot of things right during this difficult time to keep this country strong and secured.”
In October 2015, the contents of Brennan’s personal e-mail account were stolen by a hack and posted on WikiLeaks. The e-mails did not contain classified information but did include sensitive personal information, including a draft of Brennan’s Standard Form 86 (SF-86) application. During a subsequent security conference at George Washington University, Brennan proclaimed his “outrage” at the hack but also demonstrated the need to “evolve to deal with these new threats and challenges.” In January 2017, a North Carolina college student pleaded guilty in a Virginia federal court to charges relating to hacking Brennan’s e-mail.
During testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2016, Brennan warned of the threat posed by ISIL claiming it had the ability to draw on a “large cadre of Western fighters” and reiterated the threats posed by lone wolf attackers, calling them “an exceptionally challenging issue for the intelligence community.” Brennan detailed ISIL’s size to the committee, specifying they had more fighters than al-Qaeda at its height and that they were spread between Africa and southwest Asia.
While director, Brennan created ten new “mission centers” in his campaign to focus the CIA on threats in cyberspace, where analysts and hackers work in teams with focuses on specific areas of the globe and particular issues. In addition, he created the Directorate for Digital Innovation (DDI) to hone the Agency’s tradecraft in the information technology sector and create new tools dedicated to cyber-espionage. Despite general praise for his actions from within the intelligence community about Brennan’s shift towards cyber, some CIA officials said they held reservations in moving away from traditional human intelligence. In January 2017, Brennan, alongside FBI director James Comey, NSA director Mike Rogers, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper briefed President-elect Donald Trump in Trump Tower on the findings of the intelligence community in regards to Russian election interference and the allegations contained in the Steele dossier.
Less than a week before Brennan left office in January 2017, he expressed several criticisms of incoming President Trump. Brennan said “I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world”. Brennan stated that it was “outrageous” that Trump was “equating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany.”
Since leaving office, Brennan has been harshly critical of President Trump. In March 2018, Brennan said Trump had “paranoia”, accused him of “constant misrepresentation of the facts”, and called him a “charlatan”. Following the firing of senior FBI official Andrew McCabe later that month, Brennan tweeted to Trump, “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but will not destroy America… America will triumph over you.” Axios quoted Brennan as replying on Twitter to Trump’s harsh comments about James Comey (over quotes reported in advance from his April 2018 book) as, “Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey… we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger & more committed to ensuring a better life for all Americans, including those you have so tragically deceived.”
On July 16, 2018, Brennan tweeted his reaction to Trump’s comments at the 2018 Helsinki summit meetings with Putin:
John O. Brennan✓ via Twitter @JohnBrennan
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
July 16, 2018
A “total lowlife” was Trump’s characterization of Brennan following this tweet.
British hacker Kane Gamble, sentenced to 2 years in youth detention, posed as CIA chief to access highly sensitive information and hacked into Brennan’s private email and iCloud accounts, made hoax calls to his family home and even took control of his wife’s iPad. The judge said Gamble engaged in “politically motivated cyber terrorism.”
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: John O. Brennan|
- Kopan, Tal (September 15, 2016). “Polygraph panic: CIA director fretted his vote for communist”. CNN.com.
I said I was neither Democratic or Republican, but it was my way, as I was going to college, of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.
- James Gordon Meek (January 9, 2010). “White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan: Out of the shadows and into the spotlight”. New York Daily News.
- Marquis’ Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, 36th, 37th Editions; Who’s Who in the East, 37th, 38th Editions; Who’s Who in American Politics, 22nd, 23rd Editions; Who’s Who in America, 64th, 65th Editions
- Amanda Erickson (January 7, 2013). “Profile: John O. Brennan”. Who Runs Gov. The Washington Post.
- “Annual Report To Congress On White House Office Staff” (PDF). Executive Office of the President. July 1, 2009. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 13, 2011.
- Jackson, Herb (December 5, 2009). “North Bergen man is homeland security assistant for President Obama”. The Bergen Record. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
- Karen DeYoung (February 8, 2009). “Obama’s NSC Will Get New Power; Directive Expands Makeup and Role Of Security Body”. The Washington Post. p. A01.
- Kate Bolduan (March 22, 2008). “Chief of firm involved in breach is Obama adviser”. CNN.
- Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane (December 3, 2008). “After Sharp Words on C.I.A., Obama Faces a Delicate Task”. New York Times.
- Niall O’Dowd (June 6, 2010). “John Brennan, son of Irish immigrants, now Obama’s top gun”. Irish Central. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
- Judith Mbuya (December 12, 2005). “New at the Top: John O. Brennan”. Washington Post. p. D08.
- Glenn Greenwald (January 7, 2013). “John Brennan’s extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination: Obama’s top terrorism adviser goes from unconfirmable in 2008 to uncontroversial in 2013, reflecting the Obama legacy”. London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013.
As it typically does in the US National Security State, all of that deceit and radicalism is resulting not in recrimination or loss of credibility for Brennan, but in reward and promotion. At 1 pm EST today, Obama will announce that he has selected Brennan to replace Gen. David Petraeus as CIA chief: the same position for which, four short years ago, Brennan’s pro-torture-and-rendition past rendered him unfit and unconfirmable.
- Julie Pace (January 7, 2013). “Obama to nominate counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead Central Intelligence Agency”. Washington DC: Canada.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013.
Obama considered Brennan for the top CIA job in 2008. But Brennan withdrew his name amid questions about his connection to enhanced interrogation techniques while serving in the spy agency during the George W. Bush administration.
- “Brennan Nomination to Head CIA Raises Concerns”. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- Nominee to Lead C.I.A. Clears Hurdle After Release of Drone Data
- “Ex-CIA Chief John Brennan Signs as MSNBC/NBC as Contributor”. TheWrap. February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Schwartz, Mattathias (June 27, 2018). “A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows”. The New York Times.
- Kopan, Tal (September 15, 2016). “Polygraph panic: CIA director fretted his vote for communist”. CNN.com. (Brennan did not specifically say that his vote was in 1976, but he said that the vote happened before 1980, and in November 1972 he was 17, too young to vote.)
- Anne E Kornblut (June 6, 2010). “A forceful voice on Obama’s security team; Counterterror director Brennan has emerged as key adviser”. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- Timothy J. Burger.;Viveca Novak and Elaine Shannon (Mar 29, 2004). “Threat Analysis: Decoding The Chatter”. TIME. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
- Obama’s Counterterror Czar Gave Bogus Intel to Bush White House
- “National Counterterrorism Center Staff”. United States Department of State. Archived from the original on July 11, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
- Obama Nominates Hagel as Defense Secretary and Brennan as C.I.A. Chief
- Former CIA Director Brennan Joins UT Austin as a Distinguished ScholarUniversity of Texas at Austin (Sep7. 19, 2017).
- Massimo Calabresi (February 10, 2010). “Counterterrorism: The Debate Moves Right”. TIME.
- Mike Memoli (August 16, 2009). “Brennan Outlines Terror Strategy, Rebutting Critics”. Real Clear Politics. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
- Baker, Peter (January 4, 2010). “Obama’s War over Terror”. New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- McGreal, Chris (February 13, 2013). “Brennan rejects CIA torture claims in confident display at Senate hearing”. The Guardian. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Schwartz, Mattathias (June 27, 2018). “A Spymaster Steps out of the Shadows”. New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Time staff (January 4, 2010). “There is no smoking gun”. TIME. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
- Reuters staff (February 8, 2010). “GOP plays ‘political football’ with terror fear, President Obama aide John Brennan says”. New York Daily News. Reuters.
- “Trail leading to bin Laden began with his trusted courier”. CNN.com. July 5, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Montopoli, Brian (May 5, 2011). “How did bin Laden resist Navy SEALs without a weapon?”. CBS News. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- “On Whether Bin Laden Was Armed, Here’s What Officials Said”. NPR.org. May 4, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- John O. Brennan (April 30, 2012). “The Ethics and Efficacy of the President’s Counterterrorism Strategy”. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- Savage, Charlie (April 30, 2012). “Top U.S. Security Official Says ‘Rigorous Standards’ Are Used for Drone Strikes”. The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- “White House in first detailed comments on drone strikes”. BBC News. April 30, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- ACLU Credits White House for Drone Strike Transparency, but Says Program Still Unlawful, aclu.org April 30, 2012
- Who will drones target? Who in the US will decide? By Kimberly Dozier, AP Intelligence Writer / May 21, 2012, Associated Press / Boston Globe
- Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor defends drone strikes April 30, 2012, By Brian Bennett and David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
- John Brennan, Advisor, White House Office of Homeland Security (June 29, 2011). Obama Administration Counterterrorism Strategy: John Brennan talked about the campaign against al-Qaida, and the Obama administration’s counterterrorism strategy since the killing of Osama bin Laden. John McLaughlin moderated questions from the audience (Video). Paul H. Nitz School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland: C-SPAN. Event occurs at Events occur at 49:05 in video. Retrieved August 3,2014.
One of the things that President Obama has been insistent on is that we’re exceptionally precise and surgical in terms of addressing the terrorist threat. And by that I mean if there are terrorists within an area where there are women and children or others, we do not take such action that might put those innocent men, women, and children in danger. In fact I can say that the types of operations that the US has been involved in, in the counterterrorism realm, that nearly for the past year there hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.
- Woods, Chris (January 9, 2013). “New questions over CIA nominee Brennan’s denial of civilian drone deaths”. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
Claims by the Central Intelligence Agency’s new director-designate that the US intelligence services received ‘no information’ about any civilians killed by US drones in the year prior to June 2011 do not appear to bear scrutiny … Nine months later, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News challenged Brennan on his original claims. ‘Do you stand by the statement you have made in the past that, as effective as they have been, [drones] have not killed a single civilian?’ the interviewer asked. ‘That seems hard to believe.’ Brennan was robust, insisting that ‘what I said was that over a period of time before my public remarks that we had no information about a single civilian, a noncombatant being killed.’ … A later report in the New York Times provided a possible explanation for Brennan’s robustness. The paper revealed that Washington ‘counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.’ … The Bureau has now raised its estimate of the number of civilians killed in the period Brennan claimed none had died to 76, including eight children and two women. The new figures are based in part on our own research and on studies by Associated Press and Stanford and New York universities.
- “‘This Week’ Transcript: John Brennan, Economic Panel”. ABC News. April 29, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
Well, what I said was that over a period of time before my public remarks that we had no information about a single civilian, a noncombatant being killed. Unfortunately, in war, there are casualties, including among the civilian population.
- Woods, Chris (July 18, 2011). “US claims of ‘no civilian deaths’ are untrue”. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
To date, the Bureau has identified 45–56 civilian victims across 10 individual strikes – the most recent in mid-June 2011. The dead include six children.
- Friedersdorf, Conor (August 1, 2014). “Does John Brennan Know Too Much for Obama to Fire Him?”. The Atlantic. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
In the past, Brennan has been willing to lie about those drone strikes to hide ugly realities. For example, he stated in the summer of 2011 that there had been zero collateral deaths from covert U.S. drone strikes in the previous year, an absurd claim that has been decisively debunked.
- Jo Becker; Scott Shane. “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will”. The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
- Morris Davis (February 8, 2013). “The law of war does not shield the CIA and John Brennan’s drone kill list”. London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013.
Jack Goldsmith, former assistant attorney general in the George W Bush administration and now a professor at Harvard Law School, argues the past decade shows that the United States needs a new statutory framework governing how it conducts secret warfare. Perhaps that would be a positive step, but a new domestic statutory scheme would not make a civilian working for a civilian agency a lawful combatant entitled to immunity under the law of war for acts committed outside the United States.
- “Sen. Paul holds floor for hours in filibuster of CIA nominee, over drone concerns”. Fox News. March 6, 2013.
- “(CSPAN2 VIDEO) Sen. Paul holds floor for over 12 hours in filibuster of CIA nominee”. March 6, 2013.
- Memmott, Mark (March 7, 2013). “Nearly 13 Hours Later, Sen. Paul Ends His Filibuster”. npr.org. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
- “CIA faces diverse challenges amidst tight budgets: Brennan” ArchivedApril 13, 2013, at Archive.is The Statesman, March 9, 2013.
- Mazzetti, Mark (March 6, 2013). “New Head of C.I.A.’s Clandestine Service Is Chosen”. The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- “Gina Haspel, new CIA director, is a “seasoned spymaster””. CBS News. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- AFP (June 13, 2013). “Avril Haines appointed first female CIA deputy director”. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- “Why CIA Director Brennan Visited Kiev: In Ukraine The Covert War Has Begun”. Forbes.com. April 16, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- “Heres What the CIA Director Was Really Doing in Kiev”. The Daily Beast. April 16, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Hattem, Julian (July 31, 2014). “CIA admits to spying on Senate”. TheHill. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
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- Shabad, Rebecca (January 6, 2017). “Will Trump accept U.S. intelligence assessment on Russia hacking after briefing?”. CBS News. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Perez, Evan; Sciutto, Jim; Tapper, Jake; Bernstein, Carl (January 10, 2017). “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him”. CNN. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Decker, Cathleen (January 15, 2017). “CIA director John Brennan takes aim at Donald Trump for his criticism of the intelligence community”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
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- @JohnBrennan (July 16, 2018). “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???” (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- “Director of Terrorist Threat Integration Center Appointed”. Central Intelligence Agency. March 11, 2003. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- UK teen Kane Gamble gets two years for hacking CIA ex-chief John Brennan“. Deutsche Welle. April 20, 2018.
- “British 15-year-old gained access to intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran by pretending to be head of CIA, court hears “. The Daily Telegraph.January 19, 2018.
- Shane, Scott (March 5, 2013). “Senate Committee Approves Brennan for C.I.A. Director”. The New York Times.
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- “Text of John O. Brennan’s Speech on Drone Strikes at the Wilson Center”. Lawfare. April 30, 2012.
- Nomination of John O. Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: Hearing before the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, February 7, 2013, March 5, 2013
- Appearances on C-SPAN
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